The 2017 awards season is slowing kicking into gear. Last week we learned that DOWNSIZING, written and directed by two-time Oscar winner Alexander Payne, will world premiere on the opening night of the Venice Film Festival on August 30, nearly four months ahead of its scheduled US release around Christmas.
The glamorous Venice opening slot has become something of an unofficial Oscar hotspot in recent years. With the exception of EVEREST (2015), three of the last four opening films (GRAVITY, BIRDMAN and LA LA LAND) all went on to score major Oscar wins. In 2015, the eventual Best Picture winner SPOTLIGHT also premiered in Venice out of competition.
Suffice it to say that, in a year where BLADE RUNNER 2049 and Paul Thomas Anderson’s PHANTOM THREAD are speculated to show up in Lido, this is a huge vote of confidence for Payne’s comedy/social satire. Having established himself as a favorite of the Academy with a string of hits (SIDEWAYS, THE DESCENDANTS, NEBRASKA), this will be the first trip to Venice for Payne. Of note is also the fact that DOWNSIZING marks the first time he directs from an original screenplay penned by himself (and co-writer Jim Taylor) since his feature debut CITIZEN RUTH (1996).
The full lineup of the 74th Venice Film Festival will be announced on July 27.
This year, Awards Daily will be reporting from Lido August 30 – September 9.
Downsizing press release below:
La Biennale di Venezia /
74th Venice International Film Festival
Downsizing by Alexander Payne
Opening film of the 74th Venice Film Festival
Downsizing, directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska) starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau and Kristen Wiig will be the opening film, in Competition, of the 74th Venice International Film Festival (30 August – 9 September 2017) directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta.
Downsizing will be shown in its world premiere screening on Wednesday August 30th in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido di Venezia.
Downsizing follows the adventures of Paul Safranek (Matt Damon), an everyman from Omaha who, along with his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig), dreams of a better life. As the world faces an overpopulation crisis, scientists develop a radical solution that can shrink humans to five inches tall. People soon discover how much further money goes in a smaller world, and with the promise of a lavish lifestyle beyond their wildest imaginations, Paul and Audrey decide to risk the controversial procedure and embark upon an adventure that will change their lives forever.
Paramount Pictures Presents an Ad Hominem Production / Gran Via Productions Production. An Alexander Payne film, it starsMatt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau and Kristen Wiig; Produced by Alexander Payne, PGA; Mark Johnson, PGA; Jim Taylor, PGA; Written by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor; Directed by Alexander Payne; Executive Producers Megan Ellison, Diana Pokorny, Jim Burke; Music Supervisor Dondi Bastone; Music Composed and Conducted by Rolfe Kent; Costume Designer Wendy Chuck; Edited by Kevin Tent, ACE Production; Designer Stefania Cella; Director of Photography Phedon Papamichael, ASC, GSC